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Waking Methos

giandujakiss in vidding

Vids and Fanfic

Typically, a new vidder is advised to start by watching vids – lots and lots of vids – to see what works, what doesn’t work, what she likes, etc. Though that's no doubt good advice, I have an additional suggestion: Read the fanfic.



So far, I’ve vidded Starsky and Hutch, Highlander, La Femme Nikita, and Quantum Leap. (I’m not counting the multis, which are, IMHO, a completely different sort of animal).

The QL and LFN vids were a bit intimidating for me, because though I love both shows dearly, I’m not now – and have never been – involved in either fandom. For both S&H and HL, I read the fanfic obsessively, monitor the online discussions, etc; but though there was a time when I watched (and rewatched) QL and LFN with religious fervor, I never read the stories or participated in internet discussions. I just privately enjoyed the episodes.

My detachment from the QL and LFN fan communities was, I think, a handicap, because so much of my HL and S&H vids were inspired by other fans. When I posted my HL vid, Nancy Boy, I explicitly referenced fanfic that had influenced me; but, in fact, my entire take on the D/M relationship, and the S&H relationship, comes from the fan community. For instance, my S&H vid, Narcolepsy, was inspired by the numerous S&H fics that depict Hutch as gradually becoming debilitated by his fear for Starsky’s safety, and, in particular, Morgan Logan’s most excellent ‘zine story, Paint it Gray.

Similarly, “Circles,” about the back and forth of S&H’s relationship, was mainly inspired by Dana Austin Marsh’s epic two-part ‘zine, Evolution.

I also found particular moments to include in the Circles vid because of fan commentary. I never would have thought to include the wrestling scene from Omaha Tiger had it not been for jat sapphire’s Wrestling as One of the Fine Arts; and I only thought to use two scenes from Heavyweight because ginalin had commented on their significance. These moments would otherwise have sailed right past me, because I’m a girl and I have something of a mental block when it comes to boxing or wrestling episodes; my brain just shuts off.

(Which means that for just about any show, there’s at least one episode that I’ve seen but haven’t actually seen, because any long-running mystery or adventure series eventually has a boxing or wrestling episode, right along with the Circus Episode, the Baseball/Football Episode, the Chinatown Episode, the Oenophile Episode, and The Episode With the Dog.)

Anyway, I’ve got some other vid ideas in the back of my head, some for fandoms where I was once an avid internet participant, but haven’t been in a long while. So in preparation, instead of watching vids, I’m going to dig out my favorite fanfic, and immerse myself in other fans’ points of view.

Comments

Although it is good in theory, and I am not actually saying that you are wrong, it just does not always work out. I did a J/D vid with Pepe's "Edge of Darkness" fresh in mind and it didn't go over well at all, at first. Lately people are starting to get, but I think that it is taking way more thought on their behalf than should be necessary. So I guess you could say that I dropped the ball on that one. I was too centered on the fic that I forgot that: A.)Many People may not have even read that fic or Pepe's writings in general; and B.) people don't necessarily want to see the boys in a dark, angsty vid. Although I can see how my more flowery induced love stories of J/D which were also fic inspired went over better because they were just more main stream... Did that make any sense?
So I guess I agree, with the slight exception to the mainstream norm likes and dislikes!?!
I think what you're describing speaks to a different issue - i.e., how accessible your vid is, either within or without the fandom. I generally try to make my vids understandable even to people who aren't part of the fandom, and even when I think one of my vids is inspired by a fic, I don't really vid expecting that others will have read it. I mean more that my inspiration, and take on the characters, comes from the fic - after that point, however, when I'm actually creating the vid, I try to explain, or demonstrate, that "vision," so that the viewer doesn't have to have read the fic to understand my point.

Whether people enjoy that vision - well, that's just a matter of taste :-).
Interesting theory, and if that works for you, cool. I just know that for me, it doesn't, and I tend not to like vids based on fic or fanon.
Fair enough - but are you sure we're talking about the same thing? I might not have been as clear as I'd've liked; I'm not talking about vids that actually try to retell fanfic stories, or anything. I'm talking about using fanfic as a kind of literary criticism (with SEX!) that I find very helpful for understanding characters, their relationships, etc - and then I use that insight for the vids. Anyone who has seen my vids and liked them wouldn't know - unless they read this post - that I had any fic in mind at the time, because I am not literally lifting from the fic.

An example would be my first vid of all - Highlander, to "Undone (The Sweater Song)." Judging by downloads, it seems that it may be my most well-received vid; and it could not have been made but for my knowledge of a specific fanfic trope dealing with Methos's baggy sweaters. Whole stories and character arcs have been written about them. I wasn't basing the vid on a specific fic; it's just that the fics made me see the significance of his sweaters - hence, song choice.
I'm talking about using fanfic as a kind of literary criticism (with SEX!) that I find very helpful for understanding characters, their relationships, etc - and then I use that insight for the vids.

I understood what you meant, but I don't read fanfic as a way to understand characters; I prefer to interpret the characters and universe myself, and I use the images and dialogue in the original source, not ideas that are fan-created. Fanon is just not my thing.
Interesting topic.

I guess I sort of agree with both of you, which makes me a bit wishy washy. Apologies.

I think the idea of being inspired by fanfic makes sense to me in that I always make a vid to accompany some theme I'm writing in fanfic. But I do that for me because I want the fast fix that comes with the emotion of a music video, and there's only so many times I can bear to reread the same story right away. I can watch a vid of the theme many more times.

There's an intellectual bow to Klia in that I can certainly agree with the need to say your own thing, rather than what someone else is saying.

But I also find some value in giandujakiss recognizing themes exposed by fanfic that she might not feel the general fandom community has recognized, ie the sweaters, or that they HAVE recognized, but might enjoy having visible in a convenient vid together. I would have to say that my S&H video of Hutch's car falls into the category of exposing a discussed attribute, though I believe my inspiration came, not from fanfic, but from enthusiastic discussions with other excited fans, as well as from the obvious - seeing the motley thing over and over again in the episodes. Not very subtle. Maybe sweaters were more so.

Maybe that's a better point - subtle or obvious. There are obvious traits that everyone knows so well you can hardly remember their source - Kirk's obsession with his ship over relationships. Making vids of things like that are more like checking off a theme in a list of all the possible themes you can pull out of a show. But there are more subtle traits that are far more exciting to vid, and those are the ones that fandom NEVER talks about, but you've noticed and can prove that quality to the fannish community in a vid, where they might have ignored you if you'd tried it in fanfic or a discussion.

I have a B7 theory that the characters act opposite to the way they self-describe. Ask Paul Darrow what his character is like, and he'll recite back to you the character dialog he READ, not the body English he brought to the role. Ask other fans and they will frequently remember the words spoken by a character, or other characters discussing that person. But turn off the sound, and you find your jaw dropping open at what you see. Like Blake, the humanist, turning quickly away from suffering, and Avon, the selfish loner, actually upset by the suffering he sees. So making THAT vid is the most personally rewarding, because you're making a clever point.

But it's possible that a piece of fanfic made a subtle point that you recognize, but know that no one has used a vid to prove. So making a vid of a subtle analysis brought out through a story might be a good collaboration between two different artists.

Best, Mary
Okay, well, let me try and clarify. :)

Going back to the original post:

For instance, my S&H vid, Narcolepsy, was inspired by the numerous S&H fics that depict Hutch as gradually becoming debilitated by his fear for Starsky’s safety, and, in particular, Morgan Logan’s most excellent ‘zine story, Paint it Gray.

and another comment by the OP:

and it could not have been made but for my knowledge of a specific fanfic trope dealing with Methos's baggy sweaters. Whole stories and character arcs have been written about them. I wasn't basing the vid on a specific fic; it's just that the fics made me see the significance of his sweaters - hence, song choice.

See, to me, that's fanon. They're characterizations/tropes writers have extrapolated from the original source; they never actually happened or were mentioned in the shows. The OP did vids based on those fan-created ideas, which, again, *to me*, is vidding fanon.

I realize that, since I'm a slash fan and slash isn't canon, this probably makes no sense whatsoever, and I have no excuse. :) I guess, in my mind, there's a difference between making vids that highlight specific emotions or relationships depicted onscreen, and creating stuff out of whole cloth (like Daniel the 98-lb crybaby pacifist created by SG-1 fanfic writers who bears no resemblance to the Daniel in the show).

All I was trying to say was, what excites and inspires me are the characters, relationships, and universes I see onscreen. I know these days fandom sort of revolves around the meta and fan-created ideas, but I'm just really not into that, so I doubt I'll ever make a vid based on a fanfic trope or characterization.

Sorry if this didn't make things any clearer. ;)

In from metafandom -

I suppose the other side is if you don't participate in the other aspects of the fandom, people who might be looking for vids from that fandom will never find you or your work.

I've been an active fan of LFN since the original run, moving on to fic-fandom toward the end of the series and playing happily there ever since. Once I learned what vids were, I started looking around for LFN vids - and never found many. Including yours? Are your LFN (and others! I'm a bit of an HL fan as well) vids accessible anywhere?

Nell

Re: In from metafandom -

My vids (including LFN) are accessible at giandujakiss.com, if you're curious :-).

I posted about it on the LFN LJ list here a few weeks ago, but yeah, someone mentioned to me that the LFN community isn't so much of an LJ one ... so I don't know how much play it's gotten in the wider LFN fanverse.

I also put it up on You Tube, and you can find other LFN vids there, with a keyword search, although at least as far as mine goes, I recommend you download from my site, because I've made improvements since the You Tube posting.

Oh, gwyn_r does LFN. At least one of her LFN vids was shown at Vividcon; you can email her for the pword to her site.

Re: In from metafandom -

Thanks for the links!

I'm actually a member of the lj LFN list... but I don't remember to check it very often, b/c as you mentined, the online LFN fandom pre-dates lj by a good bit (in computer years, anyway), and still lives mostly on msg boards and in email. It is slowly tranistioning - but slowly. Verrrrryyyy slowly. So slowly that fandom writ large may have already begun to move on before it gets here!

I have seen a few of gwyn_r's vids - but her's and the work of one other vidder that she rec'ed once are all I've ever seen. To be honest, I quit looking for more a long time ago as a result.

I look forward to seeing yours, though!

Nell

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